The Concept of an International Community Essay

1373 Words 6 Pages
The concept of an international community existing on the scale at which it does today is fairly new (Bromley, 2009, p. 410). In this new world order, states must interact with each other on a far more integrated and cohesive level in order to maintain international order. In the following essay, we will evaluate the claim that “there is no legitimate authority internationally” (Bromley, 2009, p. 427). In the process, we will examine two competing views of international order - the realist and the liberal theories. We will discover that international politics is complicated at best, and that the reality of international relations falls somewhere in between the realist and the liberal views.
The realist view of international politics posits that, essentially, there is no legitimate international authority. In this context, authority could mean the ability of a collective of governments, or other international body, to enforce its own rules and regulations on an individual state. Conceptually, the idea is similar to one put forward by the sociologist Max Weber, namely, that authority can be reduced to a specific body or, in his specific case, a state, which “(successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (Weber cited in Blakely and Saward, 2009, p.361). It is important to note the source of any government’s power, both in a time when force is not necessary and, ultimately even when force becomes necessary, stems from the…